Former Houghall Floristry student Lauren Henderson shows off one of her bouquets in her new Sunderland store, Ray of Sunshine

Business Is Blooming For Former Floristry Student

Sun, 2002-06-16 01:00

A former floristry student from East Durham College’s Houghall Campus has recently opened her own business in the heart of Sunderland.

Lauren Henderson, 21, from Springwell, completed the Level 2 and Level 3 floristry course at the Durham-based campus last year. Then this July she successfully opened her own floristry business called Ray of Sunshine, on Sunderland’s Hylton Road, named in honour of her grandfather Ray whom she was very close to.

And despite only being open for nine weeks business is booming for Lauren, who is building up a fantastic reputation around the area.

Lauren said: “It’s been a mad few weeks, but business is going really well.

“With help from friends and family spreading the word about us being open we’ve had a really busy few weeks since we opened which has been fantastic. 

“Some of the comments and feedback that we have received from customers is a real boost and hopefully we can keep things going.”

Lauren has even had to employ an Apprentice due to demand, Danielle Johnson, who is currently studying for her floristry qualifications at the Houghall Campus.

Lauren praised the College’s floristry department and believes the course not only helped her with the skill set needed to become a successful florist but also taught her on a number of other valuable life skills which have got her to where she is today.

Lauren added: “I loved my time at the College. The course was really different to anything I have done before.

“Before joining Houghall I started on A-levels and I didn’t really enjoy that so when I moved on to floristry it was a total change.

“Not only did I learn the skills needed to be a florist but received guidance on how to set up and run my own business which has been invaluable in helping to get me to where I am today.

“I still keep in touch with my old lecturers who continue to give me advice and guidance today and the same lecturers are also now helping Danielle through her qualifications whilst she also works alongside me in the shop.”

Alongside the initial business help through her lecturers at Houghall, Lauren also took advice from Business professionals and now she believes she has a fantastic plan for the future.

Lauren said: “During my studies at Houghall I also spent time at the Business Innovation Centre in Sunderland.

“The business start up advisors there helped me draw up a business plan in order to take the steps in the right direction to go self employed whilst I was busy with my level three at college.

“I’m feeling really positive about the future and hopefully this shop will be just the first of many around Sunderland.”

For more information on floristry courses at East Durham College’s Houghall Campus please contact our Student Services team on 0191 518 8222. To place any orders with Lauren at Ray of Sunshine please call 0191 565 3498 or pop in.